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Reinforcement Learning for Joint Optimization of Multiple Rewards

Mridul Agarwal, Vaneet Aggarwal; 24(49):1−41, 2023.


Finding optimal policies which maximize long term rewards of Markov Decision Processes requires the use of dynamic programming and backward induction to solve the Bellman optimality equation. However, many real-world problems require optimization of an objective that is non-linear in cumulative rewards for which dynamic programming cannot be applied directly. For example, in a resource allocation problem, one of the objectives is to maximize long-term fairness among the users. We notice that when an agent aim to optimize some function of the sum of rewards is considered, the problem loses its Markov nature. This paper addresses and formalizes the problem of optimizing a non-linear function of the long term average of rewards. We propose model-based and model-free algorithms to learn the policy, where the model-based policy is shown to achieve a regret of $\Tilde{O}\left(LKDS\sqrt{\frac{A}{T}}\right)$ for $K$ objectives combined with a concave $L$-Lipschitz function. Further, using the fairness in cellular base-station scheduling, and queueing system scheduling as examples, the proposed algorithm is shown to significantly outperform the conventional RL approaches.

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